It was the end of a road for a Welsh side that were living the dream. Portugal put up their best performance of the tournament to dent Wales’ hopes with a 2-0 victory.
Goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani were sufficient as Portugal ran out 2-0 winners over Wales in the first semi-final at Euro 2016. Gareth Bale did manage to put up a show to keep his side in the end, but the Seleccao defence kept out the Welsh threat and earned just their second clean sheet of the competition.
A disappointed Gareth Bale spoke about the recent loss, and how the tournament has been as a whole for the Welsh contingent (per UEFA). “It is a difficult one to analyse now but we’re obviously disappointed. We’ve got to be proud first and foremost. We’ve given everything on the pitch, off the pitch. We’ve tried to enjoy the experience of the tournament.”
“We want to thank all the fans for all the support we’ve had, it’s been absolutely incredible. We’re disappointed, naturally, but they got the first goal and were a bit lucky on the second. We tried our hardest to get back in the game. We fought until the last second and we’re sorry we couldn’t get to the final but we gave everything.”
Head-coach Chris Coleman spoke about the Dragons’ incredible journey in France. He said:
“I’m proud of the players, the staff, the whole nation. The supporters have been brilliant every time. We’ve seen the scenes back home, it’s been incredible.”
“It still hurts, the fact that we’ve lost the semi-final, players are gutted but that will subside. When they look back they need to understand they have done their country proud.”
“Once you give what you have got, it’s always enough, even if you don’t get the result.”
Seleccao captain Cristiano Ronaldo carried his team over the line against Wales, and played a key role in his side’s run to the final. Speaking to the press after the game, the Los Blancos superstar said:
“It’s what we have dreamt of since the beginning. We knew it would be a long road and we’re still in the tournament. We have believed right from the start. We had difficult moments, but it’s like I always say: it’s better to start poorly and have a positive ending.”
“The players deserve it, the coach deserves it. The entire medical staff as well. They have been doing an excellent job with the players’ fitness. We haven’t won anything yet as I said a few days ago, but the dream is still alive.”
Fernando Santos spoke about how his team has grown over the tournament, and thanked everyone for supporting in times of peril.
“Joy, immense joy for the players, my family, all the Portuguese people, everyone without any exception, for many Greek people who have been supporting me in this period. I need to thank them for all the support they have given me in this period, especially in the knockout stage. We have achieved the goal we set together two years ago here during my first match, in Saint-Denis.
“At that time, we made a commitment that we would do our utmost to be back there, in Saint-Denis, this 10 July. Fortunately, things have gone well. As I have said, things have gone well because of them. The team has become better, more solid, compact and united. And when that’s the case anything is possible.”
Here’s how the game panned out on Twitter:
— Andy Brassell (@andybrassell) July 6, 2016
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) July 6, 2016
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) July 6, 2016
Ryan Giggs on #WAL exit: “Obviously disappointed, but what they’ve achieved this tournament, it’s the beginning for Welsh football.”
— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) July 6, 2016
You showed great character!
— Deluded Brendan (@DeludedBrendan) July 6, 2016
Unlucky Wales. Might’ve lost today but made history this year and made your country extremely proud
— Brad (@TheGamingLemon) July 6, 2016
Unlucky Wales and congratulations,you’ve been a joy.
— Brendan Coyle (@brendancoyle99) July 6, 2016
Unlucky Wales. Team and support have been brilliant all tournament.
— TheOfficialLFCStory (@LFCHistoryShow) July 6, 2016
Praises flooded in for Welsh manager Chris Coleman
Disappointing result, but what an effort from @FAWales over the past few weeks. A fantastic achievement by Chris Coleman and the team
— Alan Brazil (@alanbrazil) July 6, 2016
Sad for Wales. Well done to them, to Chris Coleman and to their fans. Bloody good tournament. Certainly put England counterparts to shame
— Eleanor Preston (@eleanorpres) July 6, 2016
Spot on, Chris Coleman. Spot on.
One for all young people…
— SparkyTeaching (@SparkyTeaching) July 6, 2016
Gutted but so proud of team & Chris Coleman. World Cup qualis next #comeonWales 😊⚽️👍
— Rhian Aubrey-Martin (@RhianEaling) July 6, 2016
— Sophie Owen (@legallyblonde22) July 6, 2016
Well done to Chris Coleman’s men. You’ve done Wales proud, you’ve done the UK proud and you’ve made the tournament all the more enjoyable.
— Dave Vitty (@davidvitty) July 6, 2016
— David Garrido (@SkySportsDavid) July 6, 2016
— Georgie Ainslie (@OfficiallyGT) July 6, 2016
Aaron Ramsey who was suspended, was badly missed by the Dragons.
Portugal’s fortune to meet a Wales team without Aaron Ramsey. Reach final with first win in 90 mins in tournament( 6th match).
— Ian Darke (@IanDarke) July 6, 2016
I think Aaron Ramsey’s suspension for this game is going to play on my mind for the next thousand years.
— Elis James (@elisjames) July 6, 2016
— Graham Kavanagh (@graham_kavanagh) July 6, 2016
How did Wales lose to Portugal? Well, it was exceptionally close, but overall I feel they just suffered a small small Aaron Ramsey niggle.
— Wenger Knows Best (@wengerknowsbest) July 6, 2016
— Duncan Castles (@DuncanCastles) July 6, 2016
Will Aaron Ramsey’s suspension come to form part of Welsh football folklore like John Charles’ injury at the 1958 World Cup?
— Dafydd Pritchard (@DafPritchard) July 6, 2016
Cristiano Ronaldo rose to the occasion yet again.
With his header vs. Wales, Ronaldo ties Michel Platini for most goals (9) in European Championship history. pic.twitter.com/pLAR1HsyjS
— ESPN (@espn) July 6, 2016
Cristiano Ronaldo’s game by numbers vs. WAL
1 chance created
Stepped up when it mattered pic.twitter.com/2VffGvFsIE
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) July 6, 2016
This is Ronaldo.
He pays his tax
Scores important goals
Donates to charity
Donates blood too.
Be like Ronaldo pic.twitter.com/2PUU6U9XNP
— The Magnificent 7 (@MagnificientNo7) July 6, 2016
Ronaldo goes to a final, Messi goes to prison.
— Transfer Sources (@TransferSources) July 6, 2016
No one shuts their haters up better than Ronaldo does
— ㅤ (@MartialTheMan) July 6, 2016
Ronaldo’s “doesn’t perform in big games” tag needs to go. Seriously.
— Red (@ThatBoyGiggsy) July 6, 2016